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Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 23:44 GMT
Fresh evidence in Winona case
Winona Ryder arrives at court
The tape shows Ms Ryder walking around the store
Prosecutors in the shoplifting trial of Hollywood actress Winona Ryder have released fresh video tape evidence that could prove essential to her trial.

Investigators have already examined more than an hour's worth of surveillance tape from the store where the offence is alleged to have taken place, and Ms Ryder's defence says the tape shows no evidence of wrongdoing.

However BBC correspondent David Willis says that an additional 10 seconds has now been handed to Ms Ryder's lawyer.

What the extra footage shows is not clear, but the prosecution claims that, along with testimony from several eyewitnesses, it is enough to convict the actress.

'Not guilty' plea

Store detectives at Saks Fifth Avenue, in Beverly Hills, said Ms Ryder attempted to steal clothing and hair accessories worth $5,000 while in the shop on 12 December.

Ms Ryder has pleaded not guilty to charges of theft, burglary, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance.

She did not appear in court on Thursday.

The star's defence team is expected to argue that the CCTV footage taken by the department store of her shopping spree will prove her innocence.


This tape exonerates her

Mark Geragos
Winona Ryder's lawyer
When Ms Ryder was charged, prosecutors said a CCTV tape showed her using scissors to cut security tags from merchandise.

She is shown walking around the store, talking to shop assistants and trying clothes on for up to 90 minutes, according to the Los Angeles Times newspaper and the Extra television show.

"Contrary to the public perception, this tape exonerates her," her lawyer Mark Geragos told the LA Times.

But on Tuesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley declined to discuss the contents of the tape seen by Mr Geragos and Extra.

Painkiller

He said it would be up to a court "to see evidence introduced according to the rules of evidence, not according to some game that someone is playing".

Winona Ryder
Ms Ryder: twice Oscar-nominated
Ms Ryder was arrested after being stopped by security guards at Saks.

Police said she also possessed the painkiller Oxycodone - a morphine derivative - without a prescription.

The actress faces up to three years and eight months in prison if convicted.

'Mix-up'

Mr Geragos said at the time of her arrest there had been "a misunderstanding".

Ms Ryder had already bought several items of clothing and the arrest followed a mix-up between two shop assistants, he said.

He added that she had a valid prescription for the drugs but could not show it to police at the time.

Ms Ryder has twice been nominated for Oscars - for the lead role in 1994's Little Women and for best supporting actress in Martin Scorsese's 1993 version of Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's David Willis
"Cameras captured her on a mammoth shopping spree"
See also:

13 Mar 02 | Showbiz
Video 'shows Winona is innocent'
14 Dec 01 | Showbiz
Winona charges may be dropped
01 Feb 02 | Showbiz
Winona Ryder charged with theft
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